Just twenty five years old, Brazilian cinema novo force Glauber Rocha wrote and directed this impressive feature addressing socio-political problems within his country--and indeed, anywhere it may apply. It is the 1940s, during another drought in the Brazilian sertao, when ranch hand Manuel is fed up with his situation. His boss tries to cheat him of his earnings and Manuel kills him, fleeing with his wife, Rosa. Now an outlaw, Manuel joins up with a self-proclaimed saint who condones violence and preaches disturbing doctrines. It is now Rosa who turns to killing and the two are on the move once again. And so it goes, the two running from one allegience to another, following the words of others as they attempt to find a place in their ruthless land. Blending mysticism, religion, and popular culture in this symbolic and realistic drama, Rocha insists that rather than follow the external and obscure dogmas of culture and religion, man must determine his path by his own voice.
by Kristie Hassen synopsis